Fitness Minutes: (4,724)
552 2/28/13 11:29 A
This will be my last post, since I don't want to argue with the "expert". My experts say that "proper" stretching is very important. So, yes a hard core stretch of a cold muscle might not be ideal. Common sense and listening to your body should alleviate any injury. The stretches I mentioned previously have helped this overweight guy avoid the pain of shin splints.
When you incorporate stretching into your exercise routine it is important to follow certain guidelines while stretching to avoid any onset of injury. Many believe stretching is considered a warmup; consequently stretching cold muscles can make you prone to injury. You should warm up with light activity --- walking or jogging --- before performing your stretches. According to MayoClinic.com, avoid any bouncing-type movements; these can cause small tears in your muscles. When stretching, you should hold the stretch for 30 seconds before releasing. It is important to stretch both sides of your body. For example, if you stretch your right quadriceps, you should also stretch your left quadriceps.
I started doing 10-15 minutes of Yoga for Runners (it was available for free "on demand" thru my cable provider) before my run. It made all the difference for my calves. After 2-3 weeks I never have problems with them anymore, even if I don't do yoga before I run. Even if you do some downward facing dog or sun salutations for 5-10 minutes it might help. Or try doing things like jumping jacks, butt kicks, marching in place, for 2 minutes as your warm up. Then stretch them out, then run.
Thank you for your message, it's really helpful. I might just decrease the intensity of my walking schedule and perhaps not walk everyday, I used to walk a 3 mile walk a few days a week, and still be able to do my intervals on the treadmill so ideally I would like to be able to do that again, I'll just see how it goes. Thanks again
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,228 2/27/13 9:44 A
I definitely would not suggest giving up walking in favor of running right now. Walking is not the problem (and is not hurting anything), the problem is lack of conditioning in the calf muscles suitable for the stresses of running.
The tight/painful feeling DOES show up pretty much immediately upon trying to run, that's just how it is. I don't really know how to describe this but to say how it is for me, but I can tell you this: I've been walking upwards of an hour almost every single day since before Christmas. Every single step of that, almost, has been uphill (which strengthens calves more than flat ground or downhill). Yet even so, after a month of doing that when I tried to run a little, I couldn't do a single minute without pain. I didn't push it, tried again a few weeks later, and at that point I could do about five minutes before things started aching. Between one thing and another I didn't try to run again for about another entire month, and now, finally, my legs feel normal and strong enough when doing it that I don't worry I'm going to give myself shin splints or plantar fasciitis from over-use. Over two months total of a LOT of uphill walking for me, before I could really do it.
It takes time, that's all. When your body is ready, it will let you know.
Fitness Minutes: (4,724)
552 2/27/13 8:26 A
This is a huge problem for anyone starting out. MAKE SURE YOU STRETCH!!
I am a big guy, and always got shin splints if I did any harder walking or jogging. Someone taught me this stretch, and it has been a life saver.
To avoid shin splints, you need to stretch the calves. Stand on a step and make sure you have something to hold on to. Raise up on your toes and feel the stretch in the calf. NEXT and MOST IMPORTANT. Move out to the end of the step so only your toes are on the step. Let your HEELS DROP BELOW YOUR TOES. Hold for a few seconds and repeat 3-4 times. You should feel the stretch in your calves, and around to the front of your shin. I do this before, sometimes during, and always after any strenuous walk. I never have issues if I do this correctly.
Thanks for your reply. My shoes are new and are comfortable so I think they are fine. If it's a choice right now between running and walking I think I will have to give up walking and go back to running as I see much better results with running. Do you know how long it may take for my calves to get back to normal? Should I rest?
Are you wearing good shoes that fit properly and aren't worn out? Are you doing any kind of warm up or at least walking for a while before you start to run? It sounds like it hasn't been long since you started a regular walking program, so you might just need to give it more time for your body to become accustomed to this new type of activity. Most experts recommend a regular 6-month walking program before starting to incorporate running.
Fitness Minutes: (105,108)
13,244 2/27/13 5:36 A
Hi, The walking I am doing is outdoors. What worries me is that my calves feel tight, the instant I start running, it doesn't come on afterwards or during it is instant. So it makes me think it might be something to do with my walking. They also hurt when I walk up and down the stairs as well which worries me a bit. I have looked into strengthening my calves and have been trying to do so for the past few weeks
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,228 2/27/13 5:00 A
Oops double post.
Edited by: RENATARUNS at: 2/27/2013 (09:15)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,228 2/27/13 4:59 A
Hi Stacy-- I always have trouble with my calves when starting to run. Mostly it is just weakness or being unaccustomed to the activity. (That big range of motion while weight bearing.). What you need to do is strengthen them. I assume you're walking on a flat treadmill. Try making it slightly uphill instead, for increasing periods of time. You will probably feel the same tightness/soreness as you get when running, but it shouldn't come on so fast and you can ease into it gradually by making the treadmill flat again when it starts to hurt.
Tight calves can cause a world of hurt so this is one pain I would not try to push through, but if you work on strengthening and stretch a little ( no need to go crazy with it probably -- walking uphill already provides for a little stretch with each step) you will see improvement.
(If you are already walking uphill, try raising the incline or looking for calf strengthening exercises.)
I am wondering if anyone may be able to help me. The last few weeks I have been walking between 3 and 5 miles a day. Prior to this, for a few weeks I walked maybe twice or three times a week. This last week, sometimes when I try and run on the treadmill, my calves feel tight and I stop because I'm worried about causing more damage. My calves do not feel anything other than ordinary when I'm walking, or even after walking, it is just when I try and run/jog. They do hurt/feel tight when I walk up and down stairs as well. I stretch before and after walking and have recently been foam rolling (advice from a friend).
Should I stop walking until my calves stop feeling tight? I'd really appreciate any advice
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